The magic of the FA Cup: Top 10 giant-killing stories

Where the impossible becomes possible: celebrating the thrill of unexpected triumphs and the spirit of football's true underdogs.

The FA Cup is well known for its unpredictable nature and the ability of underdogs to topple footballing giants. In this article, we’ll take a gander at the top ten giant-killing stories that make the FA Cup the thrilling competition it is.

  1. Hereford United 2-1 Newcastle United (1972): One of the most famous FA Cup upsets, Hereford United, a non-league club, beat First Division side Newcastle United in extra time. Ronnie Radford’s legendary 30-yard screamer sent the match into extra time before Ricky George scored the winner.
  2. Sutton United 2-1 Coventry City (1989): Coventry City, winners of the FA Cup just two seasons earlier, were stunned by non-league side Sutton United. Goals from Tony Rains and Matthew Hanlan sent the Sky Blues packing in a proper David versus Goliath clash.

  1. Wrexham 2-1 Arsenal (1992): Fourth Division Wrexham pulled off an incredible upset against the reigning First Division champions, Arsenal. After being a goal down, Wrexham’s Mickey Thomas and Steve Watkin turned the match on its head, leaving the Gunners gobsmacked.
  2. Shrewsbury Town 2-1 Everton (2003): Nigel Jemson’s brace saw Shrewsbury Town from the Third Division knock out Premier League side Everton, managed by David Moyes at the time. It was a well-earned victory for the Shrews and a proper upset.
  3. Barnsley 1-0 Chelsea (2008): Championship side Barnsley sent shockwaves through English football when they knocked out Premier League leaders Chelsea, thanks to a goal from Kayode Odejayi. Stamford Bridge was left reeling after this classic FA Cup upset.

  1. Oldham Athletic 3-2 Liverpool (2013): League One side Oldham Athletic managed a stunning victory over Premier League giants Liverpool. Goals from Matt Smith and Reece Wabara sealed the deal for Oldham, leaving Liverpool’s manager Brendan Rodgers to reflect on a proper giant-killing.
  2. Bradford City 4-2 Chelsea (2015): Arguably the biggest upset in recent FA Cup history, League One side Bradford City came back from 2-0 down to beat Premier League giants Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge. Goals from Jon Stead, Filipe Morais, Andy Halliday, and Mark Yeates ensured a memorable win.
  3. Lincoln City 1-0 Burnley (2017): Lincoln City, a non-league side, etched their name in the history books by knocking out Premier League side Burnley. Sean Raggett’s 89th-minute goal sent the Imps into dreamland and secured their place in the quarter-finals.

  1. Wigan Athletic 1-0 Manchester City (2018): Despite being in League One, Wigan Athletic defeated the Premier League leaders Manchester City. Will Grigg’s late goal was enough to send Pep Guardiola’s star-studded side crashing out of the competition.
  2. Newport County 2-1 Leicester City (2019): League Two side Newport County shocked Premier League outfit Leicester City, thanks to goals from Jamille Matt and a late penalty from Padraig Amond. The Foxes were left to rue their missed chances in this classic FA Cup giant-killing.

These unforgettable moments showcase the magic of the FA Cup, where anything can happen, and football’s underdogs have their chance to shine.


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